Heed people’s views and provide unifying laws, Kibaki tells CoE

By Willis Oketch

President Kibaki has asked the Committee of Experts (CoE) on constitution review to harmonise views received from Kenyans and unveil a final product that would unite the country.

He said CoE had received views from Kenyans after the publication of the Harmonised Draft Constitution and should now come up with what the majority want.

"They must now carefully and prudently harmonise these views. Kenyans expect the final product which will be a unifying document that reflects the will of majority of the people," said Kibaki, stressing constitutional reform has to gain full momentum this year.

In his New Year message to the nation from State House, Mombasa, President Kibaki asserted that while the constitutional review has in the past been divisive, the final outcome must lay the basis for a modern and prosperous nation.

Truth and justice

The function was attended by the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and local leaders. President Kibaki said his Government wanted to conclude the constitution review that has been elusive over the years.

The President said Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission will begin its hearing this year.

"I appeal to Kenyans to give their views freely. Let us give the commission an opportunity to give room for national healing and reconciliation, which are key ingredients to stability and development," he said.

He advised Kenyans to perceive themselves as East African citizens and embrace the opportunities that the common market will bring.

‘Green year for Kenya’

President Kibaki asked Kenyans to take responsibility of environment and harvest water.

"Let us make the year 2010 the ‘Green Year for Kenya’," said Kibaki.

He said the Government would begin ambitious plan of planting trees and restore the forest cover to over ten per cent of the country’s surface.

He told money launderers that their days were numbered as he had assented to the Crime and Anti Money laundering Bill.

He said stern action will be taken against individuals who had swindled the Government of funds meant for free education.

Kibaki and Lucy thrilled the crowd when they danced to rhumba tunes amid chants of Happy New year! Happy New Year!